A preschool-8th grade Jewish day school in northshore Chicago

Faculty and Staff


Rabbi Shimon Zehnwirth
Founder & Head of School

Rabbi Shimon Zehnwirth is the founder and head of Torah Academy. A published author, lifelong learner, and dedicated educator, he has taught and guided students young and old for over 25 years. Read more here.

View PublicationsEmail Rabbi Zehnwirth
Morah Elisa Zehnwirth

Morah Elisa Zehnwirth earned her Bachelors in Judaic Studies and Masters in Education from Yeshiva University.  She has taught students from early childhood to college level for over 30+ years.  Read more here

Email Mrs. Zehnwirth


Mrs. Carrie Kaz
Administrative Team Consultant

Mrs. Carrie Kaz holds a Masters Degree in Education from DePaul University, with a major in Early Childhood and a concentration in  Pre-K Curriculum Development. Her professional skills and positive and supportive personality have endeared her to our staff and students.  Read more here

Mrs. Miriam Schiller
Educational Consultant

Mrs. Miriam Schiller brings her decades of experience in school leadership to TA as an invaluable advisor in all matters of education. 

Ms. Tammie Roth
Reggio Consultant
Tammie's expertise includes Family Social Science, Early Childhood Education, and Child Psychology.

Faculty & Staff

Mrs. Ann Collins
ELA & Math

Mrs. Collins joins Torah Academy with over 30 years of teaching experience. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Loyola University, and a Masters in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Carolina. Read more here.

Morah Shiri Goldenstein
ELC & Ivrit

Morah Shiri leads our ELC with love and warmth, giving students an invaluable Hebrew-immersion experience. Her Ivrit classes with our upper grades equip students with skills for both modern Israeli Hebrew and Torah study. Read more here

Miss Sara Herber
Teacher & Communications

Miss Herber is joining the Torah Academy faculty this year as well as assisting with communications & PR. With her characteristic enthusiasm and warmth, she teaches Kodesh and Math, creating a stimulating and interactive experience for our students.  

Mrs. Leahla Hoenig
Website & Communications

Formerly a TA teacher before moving far away, Mrs. Hoenig is still very much a part of the family. She's the creative mind behind most of the email newsletters and flyers that Torah Academy sends out and the website you're currently browsing.

Rabbi Jeff Holman
Judaic Studies, Science, & Humanities

Rabbi Holman is the Judaic Studies coordinator for 3-4th grade, as well as the Science and Humanities teacher for middle school. He will also be overseeing special events and fun programming!

Mrs. Naomi Homnick
Judaic Studies

Mrs. Homnick joined Torah Academy in 2019 with many years of experience in Jewish education, having taught Judaic studies for over 25 years and worked in administration for 10. Read more here

Morah Shifra Jacobs
Administrative Assistant, Judaic Studies

Shifra Jacobs is our new Administrative Assistant, and her positive energy and never-ending smile brighten up our school. She is also our new Gym teacher and the children love spending time learning new games and skills with her. She is currently pursuing a degree in Business Administration and we wish her much success! 

Rabbi Yitzchok Kolsky

Rabbi Kolsky, a graduate of the Rabbinical Seminary of America and an educator par excellence, is also an experienced financial consultant and will be taking on the responsibilities of CFO at Torah Academy. Read more here.

Mrs. Nadin Mashinsky

Mrs. Mashinsky is a certified public accountant and a mother of two.

Mrs. Diane Near
Math Specialist

We are excited to welcome Mrs. Diane Near to the TA faculty. Mrs. Near has decades of experience in the classroom, and will be supervising the math department for our middle school.

Mrs. Stacey Panner
ELC Assistant Director, Registrar

This year at TA, Stacey's focus will move from the Torah Academy office to the ELC classroom, but she'll still continue in her role as registrar.  Read more here

Morah Esti Vitkovsky

Morah Esti joined Torah Academy's faculty in 2019 straight off the plane from Eretz Yisrael!  Read more here.

Mr. Steve Wachtler
Resource & Tutoring

A computer programmer and avid guitar player, Mr. Wachtler contributes his expertise to TA with one-on-one and small group tutoring and by leading STEM clubs.

Miss Nechama Bracha Zehnwirth
Judaic Studies

Miss Zehnwirth received her Masters of Education in Digital Learning Design & Leadership from UIUC. Her enthusiasm, creativity, and dedication to her students are evident in her impactful lessons. Read more